John Mayer Pays Tribute to Tom Petty

As the tributes pour in honoring late rocker Tom Petty, John Mayer has posted a heartfelt one of his own. He begins his lengthy Instagram post by calling Petty “one of the high priests of the Sonic Church of California.”

He continues, “Petty was a major architect of the spirit that makes musicians want to flock to California and write their songs and live the life that both authors them and is authored by them.”

John then goes on to reminisce about how Petty’s music influenced his childhood.

“Growing up a kid in suburban Connecticut in the late ‘80s, Tom Petty’s music was the only thing like it, both on the radio and on MTV,” he writes. “He made me believe in two things: that songwriting was everything, and that California must have felt like his music sounded. It did. And it always will.”

“Musicians leave behind much more than records,” he adds. “They leave with us a shared dream space. A place we can continue to visit, even if after its creator is gone.”

Prior to his Instagram tribute, John posted to Twitter about Petty’s death, writing, “I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted know what it felt like to fly.”

In a much-watched YouTube video, Mayer memorably covered Petty’s classic “Free Fallin’” at the Nokia Theatre – the audio recording was released on a 2008 CD set, Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live In Los Angeles.

Tom Petty passed away Monday night at age 66.

 

Tom Petty. One of the high priests of the Sonic Church of California. He wasn’t born there, but he planted so many songs there, it’s where his music takes place in my mind. Musically speaking, California is a repository for dreams. Every great song and artist associated with it adds a patch to that sun-faded tapestry. The songs spark these visions, some of them memories, and some of them just seen for the first time in the music and revisited throughout the years. Petty was a major architect of the spirit that makes musicians want to flock to California and write their songs and live the life that both authors them and is authored by them. Growing up a kid in suburban Connecticut in the late ‘80s, Tom Petty’s music was the only thing like it, both on the radio and on MTV. He made me believe in two things: that songwriting was everything, and that California must have felt like his music sounded. It did. And it always will. Musicians leave behind much more than records. They leave with us a shared dream space. A place we can continue to visit, even if after its creator is gone. Tom Petty’s California is my favorite California. It’s the one he painted both photo-real and abstract. It’s the one, like his music always portrayed, that straddles the dichotomy between proletariat and paradise; somewhere between the power lines and the palm trees, between Reseda and Malibu, between restlessness and ecstatic love. A legend reaches the other side. Rest In Peace

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